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Making Wine--An Overview

The basic process to make wine is extraordinarily simple. Wine is made when yeast is added to grape juice (or any juice for that matter). The yeast "eats" the sugar in the juice, and produces carbon dioxide gas, and alcohol. The carbon dioxide gas bubbles out of the juice, and what is left is juice containing alcohol--known as wine!!



For simplicity, the basic wine making process has been collapsed into four easy steps outlined below.

  1. Sterilize Equipment and Prepare the Juice
  2. Primary Fermentation
  3. Secondary Fermentation
  4. Clearing, Bottling and Aging

In addition, the following pages might be also be a useful source of infomation to help with making wine

wine fermentingMaking wine involves managing and optimally controlling the process in which juice turns to wine (know as fermentation) along with managing and optimally controlling the aging and storage of wine. The basic processes that the wine maker can control are:

  • Type of juice (or grapes) and yeast
  • Sugar content
  • Acid level
  • Fermentation containers (i.e oak barrels)
  • Exposure to Air
  • Process for clearing wine
  • Temperature / humidity
  • Aging

By optimal selection of key ingredients and processes, excellent wine can be made from juice!

The key to good wine making is to optimize processes and ingredients of a very simple, natural, age-old phenomenon.

General Tips

For the beginner, I would suggest starting wine making from juice or a concentrate. Starting with grapes adds an additional level of complexity, necessary equipment, expense, and labor. It is suggested that you master the process from making wine from juice before you attempt to crush your own grapes.

When making wine, batches of five gallons are an ideal quantity to make at a time as:

  • Five gallon carbouy full of wine is a reasonable weight and size to lift and move around.
  • Five gallons of wine will produce approximately 25 bottles of wine (about 2 cases). If one is going to invest the time and effort in making a batch of wine, a reasonable quantity should be made.




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